Toad - 2010 Ford Escape
I am a new member and I am sure there has been a lot of discussion regarding the towability of the Ford Escape (2010). So far Ford has replaced one transmission on this vehicle. I followed and exceeded the recommended towing instructions. I have talk to other owners who have successfully towed the Escape.
I have attempted to maintain the oil level in the transmission at the recommeded level that is explained in the manual. When I purchased the vehicle, the level was at the recommend level for towing. On my first outing I towed 1200 miles. No problems. When I started my return trip, I developed a smoking symptom from under the hood. I had burned off over a quart of transmission fluid. I must have lost fluid earlier in my trip but did not realize it.
From this experience I advise people to carry one or two quarts of transmission fluid and to check it regularly.
I am now experiencing problems in getting an accurate oil reading on the transmission oil. Filling the transmission with oil requires you to pour the oil in from the dip stick filler tube. You can do this but immediately following this, it is difficult to get an accurate reading on the oil level (oil collects on the inside wall of the tube). Plus, the oil is suppose to be at a certain temperature. Now the trick is to add oil but not too much, so that it is in the range describled in the manual.
So this year 2012, I started out my trip with a new transmission. I got 150 miles from my home, I noticed the car was smoking. I added a half a quart of oil. I located a Ford dealer. I figured I would need more oil. I finally decided that I was not going to nurse my car all the way to Florida. I called Uhaul for a dolly.
Other Escape owners I talked with (two so far) don't worry about oil levels and are not having any issues. I checked their levels and they were higher than the recommended levels in the manual.
The other differents, one Escape was a four wheel drive and the other was a 4 cyclinder. My vehicle is 2 wheel drvie and a 6 cyclinder.
I am going to try running with higher but in the range oil levels.